Derin_Edala

Derin_Edala

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Memories (Completed)

Memories is a murder mystery based around the premise that the key murder witness has amnesia. It's a solid premise which has spawned many good novels in the past. It's worth noting that this is the author's first attempt at a novel, so it lacks a lot of polish, but that also means it's a good testing ground to learn and improve over time.

The style of this story is where I'm the most excited to see the author grow. The narration is unusually neutral for a first person story and they're still learning what to 'show' instead of 'tell', simply relaying feelings and personality traits to the reader without demonstrating them. There are several point where the story moves between past and present tense mid-paragraph, and a lot of the exposition is redundant, slowing down the novel. But the structure is sound, and for a first attempt, it shows a lot of promise.

The story is a staple of the mystery genre, and staples are staples for a reason. An amnesiac MC, especially a murder witness with a lot of pressure on him to remember what he saw, is always going to be compelling. If you like those kinds of mystery stories, here's one that should keep your attention.

The grammar isn't great, but it's readable if you're willing to reread a few sentences. It's rough enough to take some focus to parse, but the sentences are technically sentences and most of the words are spelled correctly. I think the grammar is probably the main thing holding this story back; once the author has a better handle on this, they'll be able to express a compelling style and write interesting characters.

The characters themselves are fine, although held back by the tendency to tell us their personality traits instead of demonstrating them. There are multiple early conversations between the amnesiac protagonist and people he can't remember where just giving us people's body language or tone of voice would tell us so much more about them and about what's going on, ut all dialogue is delivered in a very stiff and neutral way with almost none of this information. Again, I think this is just a lack of practice; then the author is more comfortable with writing prose and has had a chance to experiment with grammar and style, these characters will probably become very interesting.

If you like mystery novels, or want to watch an author grow and develop in real time, this story is for you.


For Irision - Book One Complete!

Great character relationships... IN SPAAAACE

For Orision is the story of a handful of heroes... or traitors, depending on your point of view... dealing with not only saving a planet, but the aftermath of their heroism.

STYLE

The story is written perfectly fine. I found myself wishing for a little bit more personality in the narration as it's very neutral for a first person perspective, especially given the genre, but it's very readable. The author is excellent at weaving in plot details and introducing the reader to the world without long paragraphs of exposition; everything we learn is tied directly to what's actually going on and we're given a surprising amount of information without it ever feeling like the plot is being halted to spoonfeed information. Said plot is very slow compared to the standards of the genre, but a lot of people prefer that, especially in web serial fiction. Character development and worldbuilding are prioritised over action, and the characters are given room to breathe. The time jumping narration is a risky thing to do, but the author pulls it off well here, I think.

GRAMMAR

Grammar is fine. No glaring errors or anything that causes reading difficuties.

STORY

Because we start with several chapters of consequences of the event (the story isn't told in chronological order), the story takes a really long time to get going. it's passable enough, the kind of thing you expect for the genre, and focusing on the aftermath first gives it a bit of a unique twist.

CHARACTERS

The characters are where For Onision shines. The relationships of the main crew are very well developed, and their trauma is written very well. The author pays a lot of attention to the emotional consequences of their ordeal and how their relationships affect their ability to cope, which is something often glossed over in space opera. The only drag on characterisation is the unusally neutral (for first person) writing style.

All in all, For Onision is a perfectly passable space opera that stands out in the crown through unusually great characterisation and focusing on the consequences of a Heroic Adventure more than the adventure itself. If that's your kind of thing, do yourself a favour and read it.


Ancients [An Epic Litrpg]

If you like action-heavy litRPGs, give this a go

Ancients is the story of Chen, a boy from another world whose soul never awakened, never allowing him to take class levels like his peers and marking him as worthless. But when he's called into the service of his goddess, Chen needs to awaken his soul and get strong -- fast.

The style of this story is readable enough. The narration is very neutral, heavy on exposition and light on personality or emotion, so it suits a reader who's more interested in just getting the facts laid out. This is handy at points when a lot is going on.

Grammar is readable. The author's spelling and grammar are error-free, but ome variation in sentence structure appropriate to the tone of various scenes would make it easier to get into the story. Still, no glaring errors.

The story premise is where the story is strongest. This world of awakened souls is an interesting place. I'm interested in learning more about their social structure and how their powers affect their lifestyles and technology, which I'm sure will come up more in the future.

Characters are also fine. Not remarkable or outstanding in any particular way, but consistent enough. More 'showing' and less 'telling' when it comes to their motivations and actions would give them a deeper sense of personality.

All in all, if you're into litrpgs, this one's worth a look. Strong premise and a lot of action scenes.


Queenscage

If you like epic fantasy, you have to read this

Queenscage is a battle royale story that takes place after the battle royale. If you choose your kingdom's heirs based on a last-person-standing deathmatch between chosen heroes of the gods every half-decade, you end up with a bunch selfish, manipulative heirs with a lot of blood on their hands, severe PTSD, and a proven willingness to do pretty much anything to get their way. So when the world changes and opportunities arise for advancement or war...

If you're a fan of epic fantasies with in-depth worldbuilding and a lot of political intrigue, you will absolutely love this story. If not, I still recommend giving it a go, because it's a fun time all round, but it does throw a *lot* of names, relationships, and complicated backstory at you and expect you to keep up. It took me longer to get through than the word count would suggest because I'm not much of an epic fantasy reader and had trouble remembering who everyone was, but it was still a fun time. The main critique I'll give it in terms of style and structure is that it does have a tendency to reveal information a little bit after the reader needs it, rather than before. This makes it impossible to properly engage and 'play along' with the story, instead leaving the reader to passively watch the protagonist figure out something complicated using information we don't have, and then explain to us what happened after the fact. It leaves the reader feeling constantly wrong-footed, but it's still very entertaining to follow along.

Not much to say about the grammar. It's fine. No glaring faults.

The story, specifically the story concept, is where this book really shines. Yes, there are ten million battle royale stories, but most of them focus on the exciting fight and don't care too much for the world outside (even the Hunger Games was far more interesting inside the arena than outside). The battle royale here is background, glimpsed in occasional flashbacks -- the story is a complicated political intrigue between the survivors of a game played for the entertainment of the gods, and the people around them. As a premise, it's a hundred times more interesting.

The characters are also very consistent and distinct from each other. This is quite handy, as there are an awful lot of them, as tends to be the case in epic fantasy. You won't get any "generic mean noble II died, here is generic mean noble III, try to remember he has a different name now" here -- everyone present is their own distinct, fascinating person.

Overall, this is one of the best stories I've encountered on this site, and I say that as someone who's not even all that into epic fantasy. It's great fun, but it will demand your full attention and focus to keep up with what's going on -- no 'passive relaxing TV show' kind of reading here.


12 Miles Below

Fascinating future world doin what scifi does best

Anyone looking for a post-apocalyptic future story should absolutely give this one a go. It's got that perfect mix of calm and tension for a group of people trying to survive in a world that previous generations have made inhospitable to them.

The writing is clear and engaging, with enough personality that we have a clear idea of what kind of a person the narrator is, but not so much as to be distracting. I found myself sympathetic to his goals and actions even when he's being an idiot, and that's hard to do. If you're going to give it a go, read to the second chapter at least -- the first is kind of fluffy and unnecessary, but the second WILL hook you.

Grammar is perfectly serviceable. Not much to say about it. If there are egregious grammar or spelling errors, I didn't notice them. It reads perfectly well.

The story itself is a bit slow, but only because it's putting all its energy into developing the world and characters. As of chapter 7 (the latest chapter when I'm posting this), we don't know what the main plot of the story is yet, but boy do we have a lot of fascinating information about the characters, their world, and their politics. So far it's quite "slice of life but post-apocalyptic" and I LOVE that. The details of the scavenging priorities of this society, built on what their society is like and what tech they do and don't have access to, are particularly intriguing -- it's a very well-thought-out world. (I also love when characters are trying to conceive of our time based on the fragments they have left. There's this whole part there they find a painted interior wall at a scavenging site and are baffled by how much of a waste of paint it is and start speculating on where the owners could've gotten so much paint and why they'd wasted it on a wall, it's great.)

I am in love with these characters. Keith and Kidra have such little sibling/big sibling energy. These two and their relationship really carry the show and I would die for Kidra. Anyone who has a sibling will understand and love the MC and his sister immediately.


Ilhen's Seventh Deathtrap — A Fantasy Adventure Tale

Ilhen's Seventh Deathtrap grabs you and pulls you in right away. What you see in the first two chapters is essentially what you get.

The writing style is clear with just enough personality to beinteresting, but neutral enough to avoid being distracting. It flows well and presents information clearly -- which is a good thing, because there is a LOT of information being thrown at you at once. If I had one minor nitpick on this story it's that the information density asks a lot of the reader, and the tendency for solutions to problems to be immediately presented with the information needed to find them (that is, no information is given in advance so the audience isn't given a chance to find their own footing and speculate on solutions) axes engagement a little, but it also contributes to the story's chaotic and fast-paced atmospher and general fun tone. As of this review, only the start of the story is up, so I imagine there'll be more advance information and foreshadowing when we get to the important mysteries.

Grammar is grammar. Perfectly standard and readable, no glaring errors.

The story itself is interesting enough. Who doesn't love a good fantasy heist with financial insolvency and a mentor's execution on the line? We get right into setting up the plot here with no messing around; five chapters in and we've established the characters' skill sets with a mini-adventure, given them a mission, and set up stakes.Efficient use of page space and strong, standard structure.

The characters are where this piece really shines. They have so much personality and I love them. I'm not generally a fan of this kind of fantasy but the characters made me eager to jump into every chapter and made the whole thing a joy to read. Even if this kind of fantasy world isn't your cup of tea, you should give this story a go and see if the characters hook you regardless.


GALACTIC

Interesting premise with a lot of potential

This has a pretty good basis for a time loop story. The premise is interesting  and promises to develop into something complex and hard to put down. This individual powers are pretty cool, and the idea of someone cheating at sports by teleporting in very very tiny increments to simulate speed is hilarious.

Polishing up the grammar and pacing of the story ould help it move from good to great, as there's a lot here that could really shine if it were differently paced and structured. Some different style choices would also really help present the story better; the choice of third person omniscient, in particular, leaves the reader feeling a bit adrift, as that's a particularly difficult perspective to pull off well (I think third person limited would work a lot better), and the dialogue tends to meander a lot. But the story still carries itself on a strong setting and plot, and on its characters.

There are some decently compelling characters here; ace and his father, and their relationship, are particularly interesting. You really get to feel for both of these people and what they're going through. Anyone interested in a time loop fantasy should give this one a look.


Nomads of the Sea

Well-written and intriguing story

I'm writing this five chapters into the story so I only have the beginning to go on so far.

This story is fantastically written. It really gets the reader hooked on the conflict being built early on. The cultures and concerns of moth main characters are interesting and well-developed, nd the characters themselves likeable and distinct. Normally I like to point out a story's weaknesses as well as strengths in a review but there's very little that could be improved here; I'd say the prologue is unnecessary (they usually are) but in this case even that enriches Idalia's story (she doesn't know about her mother! :( ) and adds important context.

The story juggles the two viewpoint characters well, keeping them each interesting enough that switching between them isn't frustrating for the reader, and keeping them clear and distinct. Exposition is quite cleverly woven into the story; at no point does the characters explaining their culture to each other drag or feel out of place. The cultures themselves, each dealing with their own insurrections, are equally fascinating.

If you're in the mood for a bit of character drama, some complicated politics, and a good old-fashioned magical war, this story is definitely worth a look.


RakhtaBhushan (Blood Ornament)

Enthralling story. Takes a few chapters to get into, but well worth it.

Characters are appropriately rounded and captivating for the genre, and the story promises to be interesting. The structure and pacing is a little unfocused, dragging in some places and skipping ahead too quickly in others, but the characters and developing plot keep the story interesting regardless. If you're looking for a dramatic Indian high fantasy, this is defintitely worth your time.